The past week has been an emotional free for all. So many emotions visited (some for minutes, some for days) that I lost track of what I was feeling and when, only aware that something new was trampling on whatever was left of my mind. In short, I forgot how to human, and remembered how to function as a fountain instead. Either that, or I sprung a rather severe and intermittent leak from my tear ducts, which occurred without warning whenever I thought I’d finally pulled myself together.
On my birthday life gave me 20 reasons to smile, mostly because I didn’t think I was going to see 20 years old in light of recent health issues. I keep booking viewings of after-life accommodation, but death never quite manages to get me to sign the contract. I had a tutorial on the morning of my birthday, so I got to immerse myself in university life for a little bit, which never fails to make everything completely ok (unless they are suggesting I leave, in which case I have a tendency to completely fall apart and remain permanently drunk for about 4-5 days). I’d been to a concert the night before, and in doing so finally escaped from the critical care unit, and my mum and I went out for lunch at the Sky Garden with the entire London skyline (and the hospital I had only just escaped from) visible from where we sat.
To balance things out I was also given a few reasons to cry. Almost everyone bailed on my birthday pizza plans, including all but one of my flat mates, and people who I’d given my all for. It shouldn’t have hurt, but I couldn’t shake the fear that I might not survive another weekend like the one I’ve just had, that we’ve no idea how to stop it happening again, and that therefore this birthday may be my last. So it was kind of more important than ever that people showed up. Only two people could be bothered to go to the pub with me afterwards, but they didn’t know each other and so an awkward silence was the most significantly felt presence in our little group. On this birthday, more than ever before, it mattered to me that people showed up. And they didn’t. I didn’t even matter enough for people to stay up/ out a couple of hours late. A doctor once told me that everyone in life will let me down at some point, and I sat in the pub with his words haunting my thoughts – even my own body doesn’t seem to want to support me any more.
The day after my birthday I was too unwell to get out of bed. I spent most of the day asleep, which half bothered me because I was wasting time, and half didn’t; I had gone from being in hospital to trying to keep up with everyone else, and it made complete sense that my body was totally wiped out by my efforts to function like a normal human being.
I swing wildly between being completely stunned to be alive and feeling invincible, and feeling completely terrified about whatever comes next, out of control, and completely vulnerable. Mostly the bad feelings stay, they are the ones that headed down to the basement of my mind and emerge when they are hungry to feast on my will to live. Unfortunately, I do not seem able to supply their demand adequately.
My body is slowly mending the scars from its latest little battle with death. The bruises and wounds from central and arterial lines are gradually healing, but the emotional wounds are angry and infected… As is my wisdom tooth actually, which scares me because infections trigger all sorts of disasters in my body, and my immune system is awful at dealing with them.
There is only one person on the entire planet that I could talk about any of this to, and I just couldn’t spit the words out this time. I couldn’t message him, I couldn’t bother him any more because each time I do either of these things the guilt is like a knife through my conscience. And I didn’t want to be talked out of my stupidity this time. I shut everybody out. I stopped replying to my messages and I stopped starting conversations. I was too busy focussing on this rollercoaster, too scared to reach out. And I completely crumbled. I cry with gratitude at the smallest things. I cry with sadness when I wonder if I will see the road works just outside the campus gates get completed, whether I have any need to bother about exam stress (which, by the way, is already a thing). So I did what I always do when I freak out – I ran from everything. And it didn’t work.
I am about to meet up with an old friend who is more a part of me than I am, and then I’m getting the train back to my home town with her, back to the place I was born, the place that killed me… But also the place where I will find the person I trust with all my heart, who listens and curls up with me while I cry on him and is always so happy to see me that he refuses to leave my side the entire time I am around him. He’s never spoken a word to me but he understands me more than anyone… He just happens to have brown fur, four legs, a tail and be a chocolate Labrador, but he’s also my furry emotional rock, and I have never needed him more.
I don’t know how to deal with anything at the moment, and I’m normally too ashamed to admit that but I’m currently beyond caring. I’ve had my moment of stupidity, I’ve tried to deal with this by not dealing with it. But now I realise that I have to figure this out, and I will, one day at a time.